Wednesday, December 14, 2016

A Winter Tetrapod Christening

A Peapod named Dunlin and a Canoe named Corvidius

Last Sunday, the local small boating community gathered for a dual launch and christening. It was a fine day, just above freezing, with a light wind - coffee and scones thoughtfully provided.

Corvidae is a cosmopolitan family of birds that contains crows, jays and magpies. They are known as the crow family. The genus Corvus, including jackdaws, crows, and ravens, makes up over a third of the entire family. They are considered the most intelligent of birds, and among the most intelligent of all animals
Ken Miller built his canoe this year and called her Corvidius, based on the family name of crows and ravens. She is a Northwest Coastal Indian inspired canoe and is built in plywood.
Photo, Ken Miller.

The Dunlin is highly gregarious in winter, sometimes forming large flocks on coastal mudflats or sandy beaches. Large numbers can often be seen in synchronized flight on stop-overs during migration or in their winter habitat.
Kees Prins built his peapod this year and called her Dunlin. This oar and sail cruising boat is inspired by the East Coast (US) peapod and is strip-planked with red cedar strips, framed and decked in plywood.

On Sunday, December 11th, at the launch ramp at Boat Haven, Port Townsend, WA, these two original, hand-built designs were dipped in the water for the first time. A winter christening, and an impressive gathering of hearty souls.  Photo by Kate Chadwick.

Kees went first, with Dunlin. The design is unique and his workmanship is impeccable. Dunlin sports a sail rig inspired by the Sea Pearl; the sails furl all standing, around carbon fiber masts. She is outfitted with twin retractable foils, a kick-up rudder and water ballast, all for efficient handling under sail or oar. She has no motor. Sealed watertight stowage compartments assure safe recovery in the event of a capsize.
Photo courtesy of Galen Piel.

Launching Dunlin, December 2016 from doryman on Vimeo.

Dunlin is a light and lively bird. Her first sail of the day was tender, even in light wind. Kees reports that loaded with 200 lbs of water ballast on her second run, she felt much more stable.

Running rigging. Please note the tiller arrangement mounted at the mizzen mast partner.

Beautifully carved rudder foil.
The kind of detail that sets Kees apart.
He is a consummate professional and it shows.

Next up was Ken Miller, with  Corvidius. Ken worked out this design himself, based on local Northwest aboriginal canoes. He did a great job, conceptually.

Once in the water, Corvidius proved to be a bit tender. When he got in, I was very concerned for him because, as you may remember, I've been there, done that. Our good friend Laingdon kept a good hold on the gunnel, at the dock, until Ken opted to climb back out.
I'll spare Ken any photo evidence. Suffice to say, he looked pretty nervous. No one got wet this time.

So, it's back to the drawing board for Ken. He thinks some ballast will do the trick, though the consensus from the gallery was for outriggers. We hope to follow Ken on this journey, to see what he comes up with.

Congratulations to Ken and Kees on jobs well done. Thanks to both of you for taking us along.


robert.ditterich said...

Looks like a great little community. It's not often we see a multiple splash celebrated by comrades.

doryman said...

We dipped the Wee Pram in the water last weekend too. Not really a launch, just to see if I got the waterline right. Also to fit it to Belle Starr. A few more modifications and she'll be done.

robert.ditterich said...

Look forward to seeing how it fits. A very elegant solution to two problems!

doryman said...

I just, last night, tagged a couple photos onto the end of the previous post. The Wee Pram fits well. (don't look too close, it's what you might call a rough draft...).
The plan is to notch the bow transom to fit around the mast, so the pram will sit a bit more forward than shown. At first I was kidding about putting a couple deadlights in the pram hull, but now it's actually in the plan.
This was the one and only trial for now. Belle will be hauled-out for the rest of the winter, in about a week.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see Dunlin in the water. She looked smartly designed when I saw her on the trailer at the Wooden Boat Festival. I hope Kees will provide you an update when he's used her a bit more.

doryman said...

Kees waited until every little detail was done before launching Dunlin. (not like a certain doryman, who does sea trials before the glue is dry.)
We suspect Kees will have Dunlin out during the 26th annual Shipwrights’ Regatta – February 25th, 2017. I'll get some action shots then, fate willing.

Unknown said...

Great pictures both here and on your flickr site. Can't wait to see what Ken does to Corvidius
. I'm looking forward to the action shots.